Flare – Humanising Remote Communication

Robert Turner
Industrial Design Student 2016

Robert Turner
Royal College of Art / Imperial College London
Innovation Design Engineering

Remote communication is currently good at communicating direct pieces of information to people over long distances, but it doesn’t go very far in helping to nurture and develop the close relationships that we have built with people over time. On top of this, the majority of communication only relies on pure text, which can often be misinterpreted by the recipient without the other information that is present in direct communication.

Flare is a new experience of communication that creates a presence of your loved ones in the space around you. The device comes as a pair, capturing an image of you at your home and projecting it in the home of those closest to you. Flare uses computer vision to detect and amplify unique gestures, mannerisms and movements made by individuals. Using this information prevents misunderstandings based on assumptions.

The projected image is also abstracted. Unlike video calls, this means that people can act naturally in front of the device without feeling self-conscious about their actions.

With a vast amount of people moving away from their friends and family for work or education opportunities, remote communication fails to deliver an experience that comes close to in person communication. By rethinking remote communication, we can create a device that can brings benefits to groups of people that often feel isolated from their friends and family, such as the elderly or those who are housebound.